« AnteriorContinuar »
shall renew their strength.” The fainting heart need not fear, nor the weak one be discouraged, for God will “renew their youth like the eagle's.” The progress then of all Zion's pilgrims is sure.
This progress is not always observable to the pilgrims of Zion. They feel that they are slow learners in the school of Christ. But it is in spiritual as in natural growth, it goes on silently and unobserved. Who would think that that child would pull down kingdoms ? A few years and there is a marvellous development of the physical as well as mental powers. It often happens that when we think we are growing the least, we are growing the most; and the howling winds that threaten our destruction, only cause us to take deeper root and stronger hold upon the soil. We are growing if we know more of the weakness of our own nature, and the treacherousness and hideousness of sin and the devil. If there be a more simple dependence upon Christ, and a constant feeling of the necessity of deriving life from His wounds. Not growing ! Yet we know more of the tempter's fatal power
—we feel the need of being covered with the shield of Divine protectionwe have learned the lesson that when “we are weak then we are strong"—and we feel that “the life wo live in the flesh, we live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us and cave Himself for us." Weep not then, pilgrins of Zion, for progress has been made ; and if not so rapidly as you could desire, yet not less certain is it that you are nearer the end of your pilgrimage
They can, however, really tell that progress has been made. Let the pilgrims of Zion review the way they have gone, let them "remember the way the Lord their God hath led them in the wilderness," and they will at once see that they have made progress. See, that stream hath been forded. that mountain summit scaled, that dark and gloomy valley left in the distance. Are they not now approaching scenes they only can see who are nearing the celestial city? Do they not at times catch a glimpse of the new Jerusalem ? Progress, then, must have been made. On, pilgrim, on! Stay not in yonder plain! neither linger in the valley! Gird up thyselt again, and renew once more thy journey. Forget the hazardous scenes encountered, and the milestones thou hast passed. Press on, looking unit) Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, who " for the joy that was 881 before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right-hand of the throne of God.” On, pilgrim, on!
III. THEIR CITY OF REST.
“Every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.” Happy pilgrims, now that this glorious city is not simply in their view, but inhabited by them! Their feet trea'l the golden streets, and they have upon their bron: better than princes' Clowns-a glory not dimmed by time, a joy unknown to earth.
They do not feel disimpointed now that they have arrived at it. We ar sometimes disappointed with the scenes which we visit, about which we bare heard some enthusiastic person speak ; but Zion's pilgrims will not be dis appointed with heaven. We shall find, then, that we spoke about it 85 children, and that our highest conceptions of it were poor. With what joy shall we look upon Abraham, who upon the Mount uplifted the glittering kuife in obedience to the command of God, even though the stroke should blight his hopes for ever? And how sweet to see all the holy men of Bible Story, whose lives we have read with such intense interest ! How will the angelic glory astonish our minds ! But oh, with what transporting joy shall we behold Christ, the Lamb slain for us! “We shall see Him as He is.” Then will there be no thorn crown-no purple robe of mockery--no bitter, biting taunts. We shall see llim arrayed in garments of celestial brightness, and behold his surpassing glory. Yet how benignant! There are no terrors in His look, no lightning in His eye. His presence banishes away all grief aca all pain.
They will then better understand the necessity of their pilgrimage. On the journey they were often asking, “Why this, Lord ?" then they will Folder at the wisdom of the way. Not a road too roughi, nor a stream dried o in vain. Not a valley too low, or a mountain too high. Not a cross too Paty, and not a moment too long in the boily. Yes, fellow pilgrims, we wall see that “all tl ingy have worked together for our good," making us "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." The Book of l'rovidence will then be more easily read by us when we are sheltered within the strong walls of the city of Zion.
Thev forget their sorrows in the remembrance of their joys. They do not forget the sorrows of the Saviour, but their own sorrows are lost in the weight of glory. Once pointed at and mocked by the men of the world as singular, how would such like to change places with thein? They saw but 119 haggard look, the tear-dimmed eye, the weary pilgrimage ; but they At nut the crown, the harp, the palm. Happy, happy pilgrims! whose employment is in accordance with their heart's desire, which is to Eee the ince of Christ, and to hear the melodious accerts that fall from His lips, and b) Eelp to swell the solemn hymn of praise, “ Unto Him that loved us, and Wated us from our sins in His own blood, and hath made us kings and onests unto God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever in ever. Amen !"
Reader, are you a pilgrim on the roail to Zion ? Have you commenced luis heavenly journey ? Christ is the way. He says, “ No man cometh unto
Father but by me.” The way of sin is not all happiness, but the ways o: wisdom are "pleasantness and all her paths are peace.”
I love to journey on the road,
The pilgrim road I fondly love,
THE CHRISTIAN VIEW OF LIFE.
BY TIIE REV. TIIOMAS ROSE. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them w are the called according to his purpose."-Romans viii. 28.
WE ma' safely assert, and that in their Arab tent, with limitless deser mnost earliest opposition to the repre | before them, had started question stations of some of the professed which at that early time no man coul disciples of Christ, that Christianity answer; and we may well believe that is designed to make men happy – long before Job's day, sorrow-lader happy now as well as hereafter. It men had stumbled at the same appalwas sent by a merciful God to stay | ling difficulties. Yet one such verse the ravages of that disease which for as this we have taken for our text long centuries had laid waste the would have served to irradiate that whole world : to strike at the root | painful gloom, to disperse that thich 0. that tree which has borne so heavy chill mist, telling men as it does th3 a crop of woe. It may happen-it a good man's life, viewed as a whoi does happen--that many Christians are tends towards good, rolls on beneati not happy; care graves its deepening the watchful eye of God into that un lines upon their foreheads, and an fathomed ocean which we in our poo guish desolates their hearts. But this | way call eternity. So much may w comes of the evil which still cleaves to | learn from our text. I will state thes "!s, holding us back from the enjoy- | points more explicitly, and offer one of ment of God-sent blessings, shutting | two remarks upon them. the windows of the soul against the I. Our life is to be viewed as entrance of God-sent light. Ample is whole, and not only in its severa the provision our Heavenly Father has parts. inade for our wants, thoughtful are II. Our life is to be viewed the means he has employed to ensure | unfolding itself according to a Divine our happiness: and when an apostle plan. bids us“ Rejoice evermore," "In III. Our life is to be viewed in re. everything to give thanks,” he does lation to God's final purpose, viz., ow not urge us to impossibilities.
eternal blessedness. Now it is very noticeable that God I. Our life is to be viewed as gave man so large a time to speculate whole. upon the vast problems of human life. I need scarcely remind you that it For four thousand years of long ex- | is our natural tendency--à tendency pectation did thoughtful spirits ponder it is hard indeed to withstand - to do those problems, wondering what to the very opposite,—to dwell exclusively make of things as they found them, on details, to fix our attention ou doubtful where to look for relief. Job isolated events, to pick out some one and his friends, seatad at the door of I scene, whether pleasurable or painful, and to concentrate all our thought on based upon the past, whose to-morit. We do this as fresh scenes present row is the birth of its to-day. In our themselves. Thus, for instance, it is lives, one event flows out of another. tell-nigh impossible for the widow in There is a long chain of causes and the first hour of her strange desolation, effects. The present holds the seeds rith the wild waves of an unwonted of the future. You cannot take one SOTTOW Wearing her bared heart-it is 1 year of your life and say, “ This vear well-nigh impossible for her to look had nothing whatsoever to do with all beyond that overwhelming present, that went before; it has had nought and to connect that present with the to do with all that has followed after ; past and with the future. And equally it stands absolutely alone, an insucitficult would it have been for her, in lated portion of my life." And all the first glad hours of married life, to this, as we shall soon proceed to point turn from the bright warmth of her out, is true, not only of our present cheerful home to peer into the threaten life, but also of our immortality. ing darkness lying beyond.
Man's whole existence is one; death The present absorbs us. We de even does not sover the chain. tach events from their antecedents If, then, such a whole-so firmly and their consequents, and consider welded together, nay, so organic in its them as standing alone. We do this unity, being “fitly joined together when ruminating on the past. Now and compacted by that which every a scene of sparkling gladness, and joint supplieth "--if such a whole is Low one of unutterable misery, passes to be rightly comprehended by us, it before us; now the heart wears must evidently be viewed as a whole. "Sorrow's crown of sorrow” whilst It is not by minutely examining each "remembering happier things,” and | separato item-the trees burnished now it dwells with lingering sadness with the light of sunset, the cattle on some old yet unforgotten grief. grazing silently in the watered meaWe call up scraps and fragments of dows, the shepherd leaning on his the past, and well may life thus re crook--that we gain a just concepneved by us appear an insoluble and |tion of the pictured landscape. The Tuching mystery. But it is of “the glory of the building is not perceived ALL THINGS ” that go to make up life, by dwelling in detail on its various and of these as “WORKING TOGETHER,” architectural adornments, its sculpthat the apostle speaks. View life, | tured friezes, the graceful shafts and Lot in parcels, but in its entirety, and enfoliated capitals of its many columns, Then you will see that good is the its airy roof; the eye must take in final goal, that good is the one pro each well-wrought part at a single dict yielded by the interfusion of view, as combining to form one imthose varied ingredients, remaining posing structure. You cannot judge be one imperishable residuum from of the effect of the chorus by listening is long-continued and subtle process. now to the tenor parts, now to the
Moreover, it is not enough that the bass; all the voices must be heard hole of life be passed in review-all together swelling grandly in their es parts are to be seen to forin a well-timed harmony. Raphael, the WHOLE. For life is not made up of | sublimest of painters, left as a legacy By many single portions, independent to coming generations certain pictures ad disjoined. It is not a bundle of which are the wonder and delight of idents, forcibly, or, at any rate, all lovers of art. These cartoons, as Eidentally, thrown together. It is ! they are called, because sketched on
& mosaic formed of pieces arti paper, were found in separate sheets. Lually conjoined. It may be more Little would be learned from viewing 2 likened to a living organism, in these sheets singly. On one, perhaps, nch the growth of the present is | was the scowling face of Judas, on
another, the radiant, youthful face of | all know is not the case. All thir John. These fragments had to be all days, and weeks, and years, 2 skilfully pieced together before men thoughts and deeds, all events in could form an adequate conception of happen, all are working together, this treasured bequest of genius. So the result of their co-working redi le with the Christian's life. It must be onward into the infinite time before 2 pieced together. The bright lines and II. Our life unfolds itself accort the dark lines; the sky black with to a Divine plan. angry clouds, or smiling with the This is not stated in soms happy sunshine; the flower filling the words, but is left to be air with beauty and perfume, the dank ferred. If all things do thus i weed growing by its side; the trim together for good, some plan na cottage, the home of mirth and plea guide their working; this could i santness, and the mouldering i'uins | happen beneath the reign of cha í overgrown with briars and tangle The life, then, of the Christian uk grass — all these go to make one with all its inultitudinous facts, isi i picture. Take care that you look at forms a sublime and mysterious dra a that picture as one, though made of scene following scene, act succesu. many parts, or you will never under- | act, in accordance with the order stand it.
down by God, all leading on to It is this solemn truth makes every foreordained and magnificent ca day, every hour, so unspeakably im trophe. This is one of the apparui portant, each trifling act so big with | daring doctrines of Christianity; ni i destiny. This renders each harboured but a religion of Divine origin worlu thought, each spoken word, each | venture upon such strong statemet acted deed, momentous. If life were as abound in the Bible : and takeo 1 parvelled out, if a sharp line could cut this one, "The very hairs of y off to-morrow froin to-day, how | head are all numbered.” A cert 1 widely different a thing lite would vague belief in a superintending to be! If at the end of every year, for vidence seems inseparable frou instance, we could leave our old selves belief in a personal God. But il behind us and cross the boundary into seek to extenuate their belief i another year that should be really a governing Providence, to beat it ! new year, life would not be half so thin, to hide the plain truth in ai i solemn as it is. Or, once more, let us of generalities. They shrink from suppose and this we can easily do obvious conclusion, “God man that death so rolled between this life our mean affairs." Yet it seem: and the next as to make our two lives | mo that the Bible is ignorant of altogether distinct, so that nothing distinction between a special Pr? from the present should travel on into dence and a general Providence; . the everlasting hereafter, no conse only general Providence it speak quences reach beyond that dividing is that which is made up of spe is gulf; suppose that that future bore no Providence; "and the general Pri such relation to the present as the dence is perfect because the spes ripening corn bears to the buried seed, is complete.” The web and TN or the oak to the acorn; suppose we of our lives are alike in the ha i landed upon those untravelled shores, of God, and he weaves them 11 unfreighted for evil or for good, with the pattern which is hidden in 1 our past experiences; suppose that own mind. Thus a Divine purj 6 that history of ours which is to be, runs through the whole of our ex were in no real sense a continuation of ence, and life is no chapter of w: that history we are working out now; dents blindly stumbling on bene i --why then I know not that we need the fitful presidency of chance. fear to live or fear to die. But this wel Roview one year of your life, let it ?